Why Did Termites Eat Your House but Not Your Neighbor’s?

Dugas Pest Control provides termite treatment and extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge LouisianaTermites are a big threat to wooden structures of all types and in particular, to homes. It is estimated that every year, termites cause around 40 billion dollars of damage to homes and other buildings worldwide besides damaging around 600,000 homes just in the United States.

With the growing concern over various environmental issues like pollution, many people are looking for new methods of repelling termites.

In this article, we will take a look at different types of termites, why they might prefer one home over another, and which materials you use around your home may prevent them from damaging it.

General causes of termite infestation

There are a couple of major predictors of termite activity and a few things that appeal to particular species as well:

First of all, termites are very attracted to moisture, and they will gravitate to areas of your house that are moist and dark, like basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and areas with leaky piping.

Termites eat wood of almost all kinds, but specific species like certain types of wood better than others. If your house is surrounded by untreated foliage, this can be a way that termites are introduced to your walls and home in general.

Going along with the moist concept from earlier, termites also prefer that the air is stagnant and moist. Circulating your air can do a lot to prevent an infestation, especially in areas that attract moisture, like rooms with potted plants or pools of standing water.

If you are renovating your house, make sure to keep any new lumber in a place where it won’t be infested, and make sure to burn old lumber that had termites to prevent them from spreading to the new addition or remodeled section.

Finally, avoid putting mulch or dirt near the foundation of your house because this is an easy way for termites to get into your home.

Termites Resistant Wood

The type of wood that termites like to eat depends on the species of termite in the region of the world that you are in, but there are some general similarities between all of them.

Scientists have been experimenting with what they call allelochemicals, which are substances found in the heartwood of some trees that naturally repel insects, or in some cases, even kill them. Several of the trees they tested, such as Brazilian jabota, Peruvian walnut, Honduran mahogany, and a few others showed much higher than average resistance to the termites forced to eat them.

In particular, the group of termites that were fed teak actually exhibited a higher mortality rate than the control group which they didn’t feed anything to at all. This suggests that not only does teak resist termite infestation, something in the wood actively kills them.

Although we can’t make every house out of teak, it is only so long before a preventative measure is developed using what these scientists have learned.

Preventative steps

For now, however, there are a couple preventative steps you can take on your own. We have covered a few of these already in the previous section above, such as ventilating stagnant rooms and trimming brush away from the sides of buildings.

You can also cover the soil in crawl spaces with plastic sheeting and remove as much wood to soil contact as possible.

Additionally, do not put two pieces of wood together in a way that creates a dark, wooden space that termites can infest – so, don’t stack loose wood next to a wooden wall or affix a wooden trellis to wooden siding.

Other prevention measures are just basic home maintenance, such as clearing leaves out of gutters and removing infested trees and stumps from the property.

Finally, seal up cracks in order to prevent termites from finding their way inside.

One day, we might have a natural and completely environmentally friendly way to prevent termite infestations. Until that time, however, there are plenty of old methods that make a lot of sense and are fairly effective.

Keep these tips in mind to help prevent your house from being the neighborhood termite’s target. If you do find termites near your home, however, you must call a professional like the ones at Dugas in order to avoid damaging your home further and to make sure that all the termites are gone. We offer a free consultation, so there is no reason to delay!

Termites Are Coming for Your House

Dugas Pest Control provides termite treatment and extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana The termite problem is serious and it is not going away anytime soon. As springtime gets into full swing, it tends to bring people out of their homes so they can enjoy the warm air. Of course, the warmer weather also means that the termites are going to be more active, and you can be sure they are hungry.

Unfortunately, your house is on the menu, and you need to take action against these pests.

Many Homes Make Great Termite Buffets

Termites are voracious creatures, and they can do a substantial amount of damage to your home before you realize the extent of the problem. Those homes that have received any type of moisture damage over the course of the winter quickly become a favorite termite delicacy.

Termites cause about $5 billion in property damage each year. Unfortunately, your homeowners insurance probably doesn’t cover this type of damage, and that means that you will be spending out of your own pocket to repair your home.

It’s much better to find and handle the termite problem as early as possible. Later in the article, we’ll cover some tips that you can implement. First, though, let’s look at what’s happening in Florida.

Florida Super Termites

Florida has quite a few nice things going for it. It is a favorite vacation spot for many in our area, & offers sunny weather, beaches, and some of the best amusement parks in the world. Unfortunately, it also offers up a lot of strangeness. One of the latest and most concerning things coming from the Sunshine state is the rumor of a hybrid termite that could pose a serious threat.

According to experts at the University of Florida, two separate species of termite – Asian and Formosan subterranean termites – have been breeding. While it is unknown if they can create fertile offspring, it doesn’t really matter. They can live together in massive colonies that can stay together and live for up to twenty years. The hybrid colonies have the potential to grow twice as fast, and that means that they can do much more damage.

Anyone who lives in the South and who has a wooden structure should be concerned. Getting a termite inspection for your property now, even if you don’t see signs of termites, is an excellent idea. Let us help you keep your property as safe as possible from these very expensive pests.

Some Tips for Keeping Termites Away from Your Home

It can be impossible to handle a termite infestation on your own, and if you suspect that termites might be on the property, getting an inspection should be your number one priority. However, there are some things you can to do help prevent the infestation from happening in the first place.

Make sure that any crawl spaces or attics in the home are dry and that they have proper ventilation. If there are any leaks in the home, be sure to repair them as soon as you can. In addition, look at the outside portion of your AC unit to see how much water it is emitting and make sure it’s not leaking. Make repairs to soffits and rotten roof shingles, and making sure the mortar around the foundation and doors are secure can prevent an intrusion from termites.

Store any firewood that you might have at least 20 feet away from the home, and make sure it is at least five inches off the ground. If you are using wood mulch for landscaping and gardening, you should try to keep it at least 15 inches from the foundation.

If you notice any issues, contact the professionals at Dugas Pest Control for some help. We’re ready to combat your termite problem.

Does Your Mulch Have Termites?

The Internet is a treasure trove of stories and warnings about what you may or may not be bringing into your home with your purchases. One of these that has grown popular is the idea that you can begin a termite infestation in your home by purchasing bags of mulch. This myth is untrue on its face, but if you aren’t careful, you can contribute to an infestation through the manner in which you use mulch.

Why the Myth is Wrong

First things first; while it might be possible for a few termites to show up in bagged mulch, they are unlikely to cause an infestation. The reasons for this include:

  • Survival – Only low numbers of termites can actually survive the chipping process that is used to create mulch.
  • Colony Separation – In order for a colony to grow, there has to be a male and female together to mate. Even if both of these survived the chipping process, a colony requires between two and four years to fully mature.
  • Low Survival Rates – Termites, including males and females who mate, have a low rate of survival when they are separated from the colony.

Based on this, the likelihood of your bags of mulch creating a termite infestation is very slim, and nearly impossible. However, it is true that your mulch could help promote an infestation if you don’t take the necessary precautions needed to keep those hungry little creatures that are already present in your soil away from your home.

Mulch and Established Colonies

Termites love moist soil that has a moderate temperature. If you lay your mulch down in thicknesses greater than four to six inches, you are providing the perfect ground cover to keep termites healthy, happy and thriving. When you use the appropriate level of mulch, which is around two inches or less, you ensure that the soil can dry naturally. When soil is dry, it does not provide the ideal living space for termites.

Insecticide Barriers

Another issue that arises when mulch layers are too thick is that it negates any termiticides that you may have in place. Thick layers allow termites to crawl over the mulch, without coming in contact with, or being deterred by insecticides that are in your soil. You should make sure to avoid going over two inches thick to ensure effectiveness. Additionally, you should ensure that you are protecting your home with a pest control company that is both licensed and reputable. These protections should include treating the soil appropriately, using bait systems, and making sure that all wood is treated appropriately.

Eliminating Conducive Conditions

Mulch is useful for a number of reasons, but it has to be used in the best ways to ensure you aren’t creating conducive conditions around the foundation of your home. It is recommended that any mulch placed near the foundation is at least six inches away to allow room for inspection. This will allow owners and pest control specialists to be able to see if there are any termite mud tubes leading into the foundation of the structure.

It is also important to ensure that any irrigation systems are placed so that they are at least one foot away from the wall of the home or building. This will make sure that conditions are not created that propagate termite infestations, such as overly moist soil right next to your foundation.

While you won’t be introducing a termite infestation when you place mulch around your home, you do have to take care to ensure you are not creating conditions that can lead to one. Proper thickness of the layers, along with leaving plenty of space between the walls and mulch, and taking precautionary measures will protect your home. Call Dugas Pest Control today for a termite inspection to ensure your home remains termite free.

Termite FAQ

The word “termite” is enough to put fear into the heart of even the most intrepid homeowners out there. While they can certainly be a larger problem, especially if you do not take care of them quickly, they do not have to be the end of the world or the downfall of your home. Dugas Pest Control can help take care of your termite problems. First, let’s go over some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding termites.

What Are Termites?

Termites are a type of insect that devours and destroys wood. Estimates show that termites cause more than $5 billion worth of property damage each year. You certainly do not want your home to add to that total, so make sure to contact pest control experts the minute you see a termite on your property.

What Types of Termites Exist?

The United States is home to three different types of termites – drywood, and dampwood. The dampwood termites, as the name suggests, prefer damp wood over dry. They live in the areas of the country that have heavy forests. The aptly named drywood termites are not as common as their dampwood brethren are, and they tend to prefer dry wood. Subterranean termites, the species most commonly found in Louisiana includes Native Subterranean and Formosan termites. They live in the soil and they are the species that tends to cause the most destruction to property.

When Do the Termites Appear?

Homeowners will typically start seeing termites in the first part of spring, as this is when they become active. You may start to see mud tubes on your lawn that lead toward your house. These are tunnels that the termites are using to get to the precious wood in your home. If you notice these tunnels, or you see a swarm of termites, it’s time to get in touch with a professional pest control company.

Do Termites Attack New Buildings?

One of the myths around termites is that they will only attack and destroy older buildings that are run down. The truth is that they can be found in any home that has wood. They’ve even shown up in new construction homes. It pays to watch for termites no matter how new or old your home might be.

How Do People Get Rid of Termites

When you have an infestation, you can’t really treat it on your own simply because you will not have access to the tools or chemicals that the pest control company may need to use. Some companies use a variety of chemicals as a means to kill the termites, while other companies might use a technique called termite baiting. Different companies have different techniques and approaches they can use based on the homeowner’s unique termite problem.

Do I Need a Termite Inspection?

Even if your home does not have any outward signs of termite damage, and even if you haven’t seen any termites on your property, it does not necessarily mean your home is safe and termite free. You will want to make sure that you contact the pest control professionals for a termite inspection, just to make sure you have no need to worry. Since termites can do damage to a home so quickly, it could be a good idea to have an inspection every year or so, just to be on the safe side.

Who Should You Contact?

When you have a termite problem, you can’t wait to get help. You need professional pest control at your door right away, so they can take care of the problem before the termites destroy your home. Get in touch with Dugas Pest Control for high quality, professional termite care and control.

Why You Can’t Afford Not to Get a Termite Inspection

Dugas Pest Control provides termite treatment and extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Termites are more common than you may realize, although they are not easily detected. That’s why it’s vital for homeowners to get termite inspections from a reputable professional. An inspection will ensure that your home remains termite-free.

Types of Termites

Termites are found in four basic types. They include:

  • Drywood
  • Dampwood
  • Subterranean
  • Formosan

Each type of termite thrives in a different kind of climate. You may feel safe from termites if you live in an area that has a cold climate, but in actuality, your home can still be at risk of harboring an infestation.

Termites eat seven days each week, at a rate of 24 hours per day. They can cause major damage to your house and to any surrounding structures. That’s just one reason termite inspections are integral to the structure and safety of your home.

Termite Signs in Your Home

The easiest signal that you have termites is when you see them for yourself. When searching for termites, you will need to search the dampest areas in your home. They are generally found near wood. Swarms of termites may also be found near windows and other areas after a rain. If you find them here, contact a pest control company to get rid of them.

Termites also create mud tunnels in areas where wood is not available to eat. If they are feeding on a wooden beam and then run into concrete, mud tunnels will be created and followed until another food source is found. These mud tunnels are often seen in foundations, if they appear at all. Tunnels are about as wide as a pencil and they are a definitive sign of termites.

Damage to wood is a common sign of termites. It may not be easily detected since the termites usually destroy inner parts of wood and markings are not always left outside. It isn’t necessary for your wood to look damaged. If the damage is severe, it may only show as blistering or darkening of the outside of the wood.

You can poke your home’s woodwork with screwdrivers to check for crumbling, if you are looking for evidence of termites. If the wood shows damage signs or crumbles, call a pest control company.

How Often Do You Need Termite Inspections Conducted in Your House?

Inspections for termites are a vitally important way to ensure that your home is safe and properly maintained. Home inspections often include termite inspections. If you have a home inspector who does not offer a termite inspection, contact a pest control company yourself.

Termite inspections should always be conducted before you purchase a home. Once this first inspection is complete, it does not mean that you will never have a termite problem in the future. Routine inspections will be able to assure you that your home is still free of termite infestations. You will also learn important information on preventing an infestation.

Contact a pest control expert to inspect your home once each year, so that it can be checked for termites or termite damage that you may not have noticed. Your inspector will check your home inside and out, including crawlspaces. Your professional may inspect your attic, as well.

Termite inspections don’t involve a lot of time. It depends on your home’s size, but usually takes about a half hour, or a bit longer. Once your inspector is finished, he will share his findings with you, and discuss necessary treatments or preventative measures you should take. Having regular inspections will ensure that your house is termite safe, until your next inspection.

Why Is Springtime So Busy for Termites in Baton Rouge?

It’s no secret that many insects become more active in the spring, after the winter cold has subsided. One of the few positive aspects of winter in Louisiana is getting a break from the bugs.

Spring Is Termite Time in Baton Rouge

When you start your spring-cleaning, you may find the evidence that pests are in your home. You’re certainly more aware of them during the spring than you are in the winter. Termites begin their swarming in the Bayou state in the months of spring. In warmer winters, activity may begin earlier in March . As the weather warms, termites continue to swarm in other areas as April goes into May.

Spring brings us thoughts of flowers and warm weather. However, for pest control companies, Spring starts their peak season. This is the time of year when insects are coming from their winter spots and mating. Some of them may try to find their way into your home. Spring is the peak time for termites to become a threat to your house and property.

In northern climates when termites may not survive the winter weather, a new colony may be started when infested wood is brought into a different location, or by a process known as division.

Division usually occurs when new food sources are located. A subcolony will be formed in order to exploit the food source. Eventually, the subcolony will produce necessary reproductive termites from younger termites – known as nymphs – and break off as their own colony.

When Do Termites Swarm in Louisiana?

In Southern Louisiana, the most commonly found termites are native termites, which swarm in daytime hours, and Formosan, which swarm near dusk. Formosan termites may be seen near porch lights or streetlights. They are rather like moths in their attraction to light, so they will enter your house through small cracks near doors and windows. You may not notice native termite swarms as much, since they do so during daytime hours, when you may be at work, and the children are in school.

Swarms should cause concern for you and your neighbors. When you see them or hear about the swarms, you should be rightfully concerned. Your property may not be infested or even in danger yet, but it’s better to make sure. Termites originally live in the ground around homes. Pest control companies are tasked with keeping termites underground, away from homes and other buildings.

Signs of Termites

Termite swarms and the wings that are shed and left behind are two of the few easily visible signs that termites are in your area. Due to this, there are many people who think that termites are only a springtime problem. However, some species of termites may remain out of sight but active throughout the year, especially if the winter is mild. In this case, there may be termites at work eating wood, just as they do during other times of year.

Most species of termites cannot crawl on open ground like the ant. Rather, they build mud tubes as travel mechanisms between the existing colony and their new food source. Mud tubes are a sign you should look for when you do a self-inspection for termites. Check for bubbling wood and paint, too. This usually makes a hollow sound when you tap it. If you see signs, you need to call in a professional even if you don’t see any signs, have your property inspected once a year.

How to Keep Termites Away from Your Home

Keeping shrubs and branches away from your house is one way to keep termites outside and away from your house. You should also seal holes and cracks near windows and doors. Eliminating moisture or standing water near the house will be helpful.

Contact a professional exterminator like Dugas Pest Control for immediate identification and eradication. Termites are stubborn pests, but they won’t stand a chance against our team.

What You Should Know about Subterranean Termites in Louisiana

Dugas Pest Control provides termite treatment and extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Subterranean termites are the most destructive pests in our country, and they cost homeowners and businesses billions of dollars each year. They are found in all states except for Alaska, and they are most common in the southern states. Louisiana is one of the top states for termites because of our warm, subtropical climate. Even though termites are known as pests to humans, they hold an important part in our ecosystem.

Termites are not pests by definition, as they break down cellulose into usable nutrients. The nutrients, otherwise known as biomass, are then recycled into the soil as humus. The problem is that when subterranean termites get into the home, they can attack the internal wooden structure. From sheds to warehouses to the frames of homes, termites can quickly eat away, causing severe, long-term damage.

It’s important for homeowners to know the signs of a termite infestation since these pests can live in the walls or baseboards of the home without anyone knowing until it’s too late. By understanding the appearance, life cycle and signs of an infestation, you can identify a problem earlier and minimize risk to your home.

What is a Subterranean Termite Colony Like?

Subterranean termites are social creatures that live in colonies underground. The colonies contain millions of termites, but they have a very specific working order. The social order includes reproductives, workers and soldiers. The reproductives are designed to reproduce and expand the colony, and they can be either winged or wingless.

The workers make up the bulk of the colony, and they are the ones that do all of the labor, as in chewing through the wood. The soldiers are the ones that defend the colony. They most commonly attack against ants and other termites, and although the soldiers are fierce, they rely on the workers to feed them.

How Can I Identify a Subterranean Termite?

Since you want to protect your Louisiana home to the greatest extent, it’s important to know what a subterranean termite looks like. There are various stages that these pests go through, including the following:

  • Egg
  • Larva
  • Wingless Workers
  • Nymph
  • Soldiers
  • Adult Swarmers

The reproductives can be either winged or wingless, and the colors vary from dark black to pale brown. If they do have the wings, the wings are a smoky gray or brown color. There is even a social order within the reproductives, as some females lay eggs while others serve as a backup for the queen in case she is injured or dies. These termites have a creamy white color instead and are considered secondary reproductives. The workers are white or cream-colored and wingless. Soldiers have a similar look, with the exception being that they have brown heads with strong jaws.

Subterranean termites are approximately ¼” to 3/8” long and live in colonies. So, chances are likely that you’ll identify signs of an infestation rather than seeing a termite crawling around the home. These pests don’t wander from their colonies like that, unless they are swarming.

Signs of an Infestation in Your Louisiana Home

Hollow sounding wood – Termites don’t feed on the surface of the wood; instead, they feed on the inside of it. If the wood in your home sounds hollow, it could be because termites are eating away at the inside.

Mud tubes on exterior walls – Subterranean termites in Louisiana build mud tubes on surfaces in order to bring the colony moisture while searching for food. Mud tubes are always a sign of termite activity.

Swarmers – These reproductives can look a bit like flying ants, and they come out in the spring to mate. Swarmers can be found on windowsills or flying around the home, and they indicate that a colony lives nearby.

Wings – Finding discarded wings is another sign of a termite infestation. Look for wings in cobwebs, windowsills or other entry points.

Louisiana’s great climate has many advantages, but it also makes it prone to more pests such as our subterranean termite friends. Although termite damage can be difficult to suspect, being proactive is key. If you notice any signs of a possible infestation or start to see damage to wood, contact a professional exterminator immediately.

Why do Formosan Termites Swarm?

Formosan Termites When you think of the word “swarm,” the image of a group of insects flying together may come to mind. Yet when it comes to swarms in the termite world, the word means something very different.

What is a Termite Swarm?

A Formosan termite swarm is not aggressive or tightly grouped together. Instead, a swarm occurs when the environment triggers a large number of winged termites to leave the colony. What these swarmers do is mate and find new places to look for food. When a female becomes impregnated, she burrows into the ground with her mate, laying eggs and starting a new colony.

Since swarmers have two things on their mind – reproducing and survival – you can expect that these pests know exactly what they’re doing. You can just imagine how many Formosan termite colonies would burrow into the ground and start eating away at wood if they all survived, but Mother Nature plays her role here. Many swarmers are eaten by predators like birds and bats. Others die from natural causes before they’re able to find a mate. Only the strong survive.

Still, there is a good number of swarmers that live on and are able to find a mate and a place to start a new colony. These Formosan termite colonies don’t just emerge overnight, however. In favorable conditions, it can take 4 years for a new colony to produce swarmers. If the conditions are not favorable, it will take longer. It’s true that to humans, Formosan termites are certainly nuisances and damaging pests, but they are actually quite delicate in the chain of life.

What Triggers a Termite Swarm?

In many cases, it’s something in the environment that triggers a large number of termites to leave the nest. Swarmers are most common in the spring months, following suit with the natural swarm cycles. However, there are other factors that can trigger a swarm beyond the traditional cycles. Surprisingly, one of these factors can be a pesticide that is being used on the home.

If a Formosan termite colony has a lack of food or water, a swarm may be triggered. These circumstances can be brought on by using certain types of pesticides, so in order for the termites to survive, the termites will leave the nest. When Formosan termites are stressed, either in the soil or inside wood, they will leave their colony and seek food and water somewhere else. These termites depend on moisture, so they can’t go long without some type of water.

Where do Swarms Occur?

Swarms are very common in Louisiana, primarily in the spring and fall. Formosan swarmers prefer to fly in the warm evenings of the spring and summer, and they especially enjoy the climate after a light rain. Swarmers are attracted to lights, so it’s not uncommon to see Formosan termites flying around the lights of Baton Rouge in the evenings. Flying times for these termites is sundown to midnight, whereas other species of termite swarmers prefer the daylight hours. No matter where you are – home, work or out shopping – swarmers flying around is a sign that a termite colony is nearby.

What Should I do to Protect my Louisiana Home?

The best step is prevention. Turn off lights around the home or business at night in order to avoid attracting Formosan swarmers to your area. Make sure that windows and doors are screened and sealed, and look for other cracks or gaps around the home’s exterior. Formosan swarmers are very small, so they look for open areas to get underneath the home to start a new colony.

If you notice swarmers around your home, call a professional exterminator. There may be a colony nearby, but that doesn’t mean your home is infested. Still, it’s important to be proactive, and if the exterminator does think you have a problem, a product like Sentricon can be offered for control and elimination of Formosan termites.

The Difference between Formosan and Subterranean Termites

Dugas Pest Control provides termite treatment and extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana To the average homeowner, termites might seem like they are all the same. They’re small, stubborn pests that chew through wood and cause internal damage to structures. Yet for pest control companies, termites are not all the same, and knowing which ones we’re dealing with is helpful in controlling and eradicating the infestation. The two types of termites that are commonly confused with each other are the formosan termites and the subterranean termites.

What are Formosan Termites?

Formosan termites (Coptotermes Formosanus) prefer warm climates and are heavily abundant in the southern states, Louisiana included. This termite is also known as an introduced subterranean termite, first introduced from East Asia. Although these resourceful pests have made their home in the southern part of the U.S., they have been seen as far north as the Canadian border. This leads researchers to believe that Formosan termites will eventually become mainstream across the country.

Formosan termites build nests in the soil and use mud tubes to bring moisture to their colonies. These termites eat wood and other cellulose materials, and they have successful working orders that include reproductives, workers and soldiers. Formosan termites are fierce and will defend their territories. They can also do damage in a short amount of time, as the queen can lay 1,000 eggs in one day.

What are Subterranean Termites?

Subterranean termites (Reticulitermes) have a very successful working order as well, with reproductives, workers and soldiers. They rely heavily on this working order, especially during the springtime when they send out swarmers to reproduce. The queen can lay thousands of eggs in a day, and these eggs hatch into destructive termites that can collapse an entire building within a short amount of time.

Like other types of termites, subterranean termites live in colonies underground and spend their days searching for food. Their colonies consist of two million members. A subterranean termite diet consists of wood and cellulose material, and the termites get their moisture from building mud tubes.

What is the Difference between Formosan and Subterranean Termites?

One difference between the two is that formosan termites are more localized to the southern states while subterranean termites are found throughout the U.S. In fact, subterranean termites are found in every state but Alaska. They do prefer the warmer climates as the formosan termites do, but they are more widespread across the U.S. than the formosan species.

A second difference between the two termites lies in their physical appearance. Formosan termites have a longer body and a shorter head with two short pinchers. The subterranean termites have long heads and bodies with long pinchers. Formosan termites have a translucent orange color while the subterranean species has a translucent gray/brown color. Both have long wings and look like flying ants in their swarmer form, which is when they go out looking for mates to reproduce their colonies.

However, the main disparity between formosan and subterranean termites is that formosan termites build cartons that bring moisture to their nests. This ability allows them to build nests without having to return to the soil for moisture like subterranean termites. This small but handy ability allows formosan termites to be especially efficient in their working order since they can bring moisture to their nests without having to take the additional step of returning to the soil.

Identifying formosan and subterranean termites is something that most homeowners won’t be able to do because both termites build tunnels in the soil, unlike drywood termites that live within the wood. All termites eat the same thing – wood – so your home’s structure, bookcases, shelving and furniture are all at risk for being eaten. If you happen to see winged termites flying around the doors and windows, chances are high that you have an infestation nearby. Contact a professional termite exterminator like Dugas Pest Control for immediate identification and eradication. Both formosan and subterranean termites are stubborn pests, but they won’t stand a chance against our team.

What is Sentricon and How Does it Work?

The Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System was introduced in 1995 as the first smart alternative to traditional liquid barriers. This baiting system has been proven to be effective at reducing and eliminating termite numbers and colonies, and it takes the unique biology and behavior of termites into consideration. Sentricon specifically looks at termite tunnels and cellulose food sources.

Understanding Termite Behavior

Termites build tunnels that are up to 350 feet long, and they work for food continuously. They are a well-organized team that consists of workers, soldiers and the queen. When a source of food has been identified, termites will leave behind a scent so that other termites in their colony can follow after. The worker termites chew and digest the cellulose food sources and then share them with the colony.

While termites may sound to be nothing more than food scavengers, we know that they feast on wood and can cause severe structural damage over time. That is why it’s essential that bait systems are fast, effective and efficient at eradicating termite colonies. This is where Sentricon comes into play.

A Closer Look at Sentricon 

The Sentricon bait system is based on the behavior of termites, and it works by getting the termites to ingest the bait when crawling through their long, underground tunnels.

Bait systems are placed around the perimeter of a home by a professional pest control company. They are typically arranged 10 to 20 feet apart, and when the termites come into contact with the bait station, they eat the cellulose material and inadvertently ingest an insect growth inhibitor. The termites go on to share this “food” with their colony members that also ingest the bait. As the growth inhibitor takes over and prevents the termites from being able to molt, they die off.

Sentricon is not only beneficial for immediate treatment but also for long-term pest prevention. When the bait stations are placed around the home, they continue to work by distributing bait to termites to kill off the workers, soldiers and queen. That means that termites will never reach your home, preventing structural damage and preserving your peace of mind. Bait stations do need to be re-baited over time, but your pest control company will offer a warranty that makes these visits to your home low cost.

Is Sentricon Effective?

Sentricon has been proven to work, and it has many benefits to traditional liquid barriers. It is the most environmentally responsible form of termite treatment because there are no chemicals involved. Also, no drilling needs to be done as with liquid barriers that need to be injected into the foundation. The bait systems are only used where there are termite colonies detected, and the cost of Sentricon, at least initially, is less expensive than other options.

There are some things to think about with Sentricon that may affect your end decision. While Sentricon is effective, it does have its drawbacks. Because the bait stations are placed in the ground, they often disrupt the termite tunnels, and then the termite workers and soldiers choose to build new tunnels. Also, weather conditions like rain and snow can cause the stations to be disrupted. The goal is to go undetected by the termites, and Sentricon sometimes lacks in this department.

Also, Sentricon does require regular maintenance. A certified professional from Dugas Pest Control will come out to the home at regular intervals to re-bait the stations. You’ll want to consider these costs in addition to the initial cost of the system. The good news is that the Sentricon system is affordable and will most likely fit into your budget better than a traditional liquid system.

The best part about Sentricon is that it is environmentally friendly. Providing long-term protection, you don’t have to worry about chemicals or pesticides making their way into your home. And, there is nothing better than knowing that your home is termite free and your family and pets are not exposed to chemicals. Contact Dugas Pest Control for more information.